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Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Asako I & II

Netemo sametemo

2018, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japan, 119 min.
With Erika Karata, Masahiro Higashide

Show Times

  • Fri, Jun 7th 3:45pm
  • Fri, Jun 7th 8:00pm
  • Sat, Jun 8th 3:00pm
  • Sun, Jun 9th 5:00pm
  • Tue, Jun 11th 6:00pm
  • Mon, Jun 10th 8:00pm
  • Wed, Jun 12th 6:00pm
  • Thu, Jun 13th 7:45pm
Chicago premiere!

"By far the most surprising and satisfying selection of this year's Cannes Competition."—Josh Cabrita, Cinema Scope

"An exquisite showcase for nuanced performances and a filmmaker in complete control of idiosyncratic material...[Hamaguchi is] one of the most innovative filmmakers in contemporary Asian cinema."—Eric Kohn, Indiewire

Hamaguchi's previous film HAPPY HOUR revealed to western audiences a major talent with the ability to both honor and modernize traditional genres such as the soap opera and woman's picture. Although some of its tropes and plot devices evoke rom-com, the tone of ASAKO I & II is closer to that of a full-blown romance, but laced with the ironic bite of Ophuls or Rohmer. The title refers to an identity conflict within the eponymous heroine, which is externalized in the form of two men. Asako (Karata), an Osaka college student, engages in a passionate affair with the charismatic but unreliable Baku, who abruptly deserts her. Two years later, she finds herself falling for Ryohei, a mature and sensitive salaryman who is Baku's opposite in all ways...except for one very important one. It is best not to reveal the story's audacious twists, which go beyond gimmickry in order to honor the mysteries of the human heart. In Japanese with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)

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